Amare Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire confirms he will play Friday for Knicks

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Now the real work of getting the Knicks ready for the playoffs begins.

With the Bucks loss to the Pacers Thursday night the Knicks secured a spot in the playoffs — but if they are going to make any noise there they are going to have to get both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire firing on the floor together. That is the work that starts Friday.

It starts Friday because Stoudemire confirmed to Yahoo’s The Post Game what had been rumored for a while — he will be back in the lineup Friday night against the Cavaliers.

Stoudemire has been out since March 24 with a bulging disc in his back, and in his absence the Knicks have evolved into Carmelo’s team on offense — possessions run through him. ‘Melo is thriving. The question for interim coach Mike Woodson is how to make it work for both his All-Star forwards.

Stoudemire will be back for the playoffs and talked with Yahoo about that.

That means a first-round matchup against Chicago or Miami. Stoudemire says the opponent doesn’t matter in terms of basketball. But he does have a preference when other factors are considered.

“As far as weather and city, I’d rather be in Miami,” he says.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.